Anne Pettigrew, married to John, mother of Adam and Ruth, living in Cambridge UK

-----Begin Knitter's Geek Code Block----- KER+ Exp++ SPM+ Steel Den+ Bam>+ Syn Nov- Cot Wool+ Lux+>+ Hemp>+Stash Scale+ Fin+ Ent>+ FI+ Int- Tex- Lace+ Felt>+ Flat Circ++ Swatch KIP++ Blog SNB+ EZ? FO+ WIP++ GaugeF+ AltX++ -----End Knitter's Geek Code Block-----




Powered byPivot - 1.24.2: 'Arcee'
XML Feed (RSS 1.0)
XML: Atom Feed

Site Meter

Who links to me?

Lots and lots of scarves

can be found here – but how many people think they’ve invented a new scarf just because they’ve knitted something in garter stitch using a novelty yarn… But there are some gorgeous ones here. Ooooh, I can’t wait to hear who I’m going to knit for, and what sort of things they like (MUST FINISH ADAM’S JUMPER FIRST!!!)

International Scarf Exchange

So I’m throwing myself into this “online knitting community” thing – and I’ve joined this International Scarf Exchange – and now I’m drooling over scarf patterns rather than working on the projects I’ve already got on the go – do I do this Curly Whirly Scarf, or maybe this short rows scarf, or even this multi-directional scarf. So many scarves, so little time… But first I MUST finish Adam’s jumper. I’m allowed to finish George/Esther first (I’m well on the way with the hood, after finally sorting out the sleeves – I’ve no idea what happened there, but they fit now. (In retrospect I should have done them shoulder-to-cuff and picked up stitches on the shoulder. Ah well, another time maybe.)

And I’ve managed to flog a pile of stuff on eBay, so I’ve got (a little) money in my PayPal account :-)

Scary monsters...

This makes fun viewing – a Photoshop competition to put monsters into Renaissance art… – thanks to Jessica at Rose-Kim Knits for this one.

Which character are you?


Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Thanks to Becky for this.

The Thread Project

I can’t remember on whose blog I found this, but it’s got me thinking. The home page says:

“Become part of this amazing cloth. Join thousands of people from around the world by sending a piece of ribbon, hemp, string, or other fiber to The Thread Project: One World, One Cloth. The individual threads are being tied together and woven into seven world cloths–the first of which is called “Hope Materializing.” These cloths celebrate the boldness of our cultural diversity and the unity of our human hearts. Resembling large wall tapestries, these cloths will hang in nations throughout the world, reminding people that we are, ultimately, a global family of one.”

I’m usually fairly cynical about this sort of initiative, but this one sounds exciting. The stories with them are both moving and mundane – and it’s often in the mundane that I find most to marvel in.

Oh, and I meant to include...

this – thank you Daisy :-)

Yet more frogging...

Arrrrrggggggghhhhhhh!!! This little jumper is in danger of suffering from 5th or 6th sleeve syndrome, never mind 2nd. You’ve seen the pic of me frogging the first attempt at a sleeve. On Monday I went away, measured, calculated, reknitted, held the two pieces together, and I swear they were a perfect fit. Then I looked at them again last night – and the top of the sleeve was way too big :-( So I’ve frogged again. Here follow my calculations – PLEASE jump up and down and correct me if I’ve made a glaring mistake.

The yarn knits up to 25 st x 34 rows over a 10cm x 10cm square – i.e. 2.5 st per cm. The armhole on the body measures 12 cm from armpit to shoulder. Double that makes 24 cm. 24×2.5 = 60 st. Add 4 for casting off 2 each side at shoulder = 64 st. I start with 34 st, so I need to increase by 30 st – 15 increase rows as I increase one st at each end. I want the sleeve to measure 15 cm, and the cuff is going to be 2 cm – I don’t want any increases in that. So I’m going to be doing my increases over 13 cm. I have 3.4 rows per cm, so that makes 44(.2) rows. 44/15 is near enough 3, so I need to increase every 3rd row – right?!

Please tell me I am – I loved this little jumper to bits when I started it (maybe even a little more than Senryu – shhh – don’t tell), and now the relationship is going very sour. But I can’t just hide it and do something else – the baby is due in less than a fortnight. And it’s coming out horribly boyish – which is fine if the baby is a boy, but we don’t know yet. I think I’m going to just embroider some flowers on it if it turns out to be a girl.

And in case anyone is wondering what my children are up to while I’m writing this – it was all very quiet, but I (naively) figured they were just enjoying CBeebies (I luuuuuurve CBeebies – and try not to plonk them in front of it too much). Oh, and Ruth was eating her breakfast…

Yes, that is porridge all over her fringe – and yes, she hates having her hair washed!

Adam was chilling out in his dressing gown:

And the wretched GeorgeEsther (my top tips for the future owner’s names) was languishing sadly on the sofa:

See – the colours were supposed to be neutral, but those definitely say “boy” to me.

And while I’m ranting a bit – I detest stitch markers. I need them for the lace thing I’m doing on circular needles at the mo, but in general I prefer to a) count, and/or b) look at the pattern. Maybe I just don’t have the right ones yet, but the circular plastic split ring ones end up on the floor, or caught through the wrong bit of knitting far more often than they sit nicely in the right place.

Anyway, Ruth’s hair needs sorting out, and I need to get the children out of the house while they’re still in a good mood.

Self Portrait Tuesday

Another set of pics – knitting this time – but extra special (to me anyway, I’m not going to insist that everyone thinks so) because they were taken by Adam – age 3 1/2.

The strange thing is that although I usually get a “someone’s pointing a camera at me” frozen expression when having photos done, when Adam does it I smile naturally – shame he didn’t get my face in most of the pics!

Frogging :-(

Well, at least it gives me another entry for Hazel’s competition!

Here I am – not looking happy – still it will teach me to measure as well as calculate when designing my own stuff!

(it really is worth clicking on it to see the background details left in in the interests of realism – note the Denise box about to fall off the chest of drawers behind me, and the “scary jumpers” on the back of the sofa next to me… )

Incidentally knitting is spreading at church – following my KIP the other week there were 3 of us KIPping today – all under 40 (well, under 20 apart from me!) – and the old ladies are starting to talk to us about it :-)

Knitting stuff (and other stuff)

First a few more pics of Senryu – because I love it, and one day I will have to send it away :-(

I think I mentioned when I started knitting it, that the ply was giving interesting effects (and I didn’t say, but I was ever so proud that I could explain why the stitches were asymmetrical), well here is a pic to show what I meant:

See how one half of each stitch is about twice the width of the other half – I wasn’t fazed by this, I actually think it looks rather cute.

And finally – a close friend has a baby due in 3 weeks – does this information say “knitting project” to you? It does to me – here is the yarn:

(be very impressed by the pic – Adam (aged 3) took it! And note the tasteful colours – my friend is very frustrated that the sonographers in Sweden refuse to look at the relevant bits, so she doesn’t know whether she’s having a girl or a boy – I hope these will do for either, without falling into the lemon/aqua trap)

I’m designing it myself – something with a hood if I can work out how to do it – watch this space.

Oh, and as for the “other stuff” in the title – my lovely husband John fixed the puncture on the rear wheel of my bike yesterday – but forgot to reattach the brake – oops! Even more oops that I discovered this while doing an emergency stop!! Still, I did stop (the front brake was working), I didn’t fall off, I didn’t hit the car, the car didn’t hit me, so it was all OK (although I did get a filthy look from the driver) and on my way to Sew Creative to get the yarn above (wipe your chin Daisy!) I happened to go past a “same day repair” bike shop, so I got it fixed (for nothing).

Self Portrait Tuesday

More domestic scenes from Trumpington:

Feeling surprisingly cool!

I am 28% loser. What about you? Click here to find out!

An FO - Senryu is finished!

Finally – and here it is:

and here is the Baby Clapotis to go with it:

I did say that it may be a little creative with the colours – downright panicky would be closer to the truth – I ran out! With only about 5 rows to go. This was after I had desperately gathered together all the ends I’d cut off after weaving in and sewing up (that’s where the tiny bit of green on the end came from). Anyway, I didn’t have the heart to frog it, and decided that given that it’s for a 1 year old, it’s a) not going to stay looking pristine for long and b) not going to show if there’s a corner missing. Apart from that I was really pleased with the way the apparently diagonal colour changes came out. It was a fun knit – I’m not entirely sure I could be bothered with another one, but if the right yarn came along…

And Fi (and anyone else who wants it) – I promised it would be done and here it is – the pattern for Senryu.

Ooh – and I made quince jam today using Fi’s recipe – very nice, although still rather tart as the quinces weren’t really ripe (but since they’d fallen off the bush I thought I’d better use them). Still, I’m rather pleased that Ruth stuck her nose up at it – all the more for me :-)

Briefly again...

Can’t do a proper entry – a big pile of marking is sitting glaring at me, but I just wanted to say that I visited my LYS today – Sew Creative on King Street in Cambridge. It was heavenly – there were so many things I could have bought, but all I spent was 60p on buttons for Senryu. Be impressed, be very impressed!

(And Fi – no I haven’t forgotten about letting you have the pattern, but I’m afraid this pile of marking takes priority :-( )


So I’m off work with the same sinus/chest/generally feeling grotty thing. I’ve finished Senryu (sorry, no pics yet – John has taken the camera to work because he needs to take photos of scaled up kettles – don’t ask!), and am being a little daft with the leftover Baby Cashmerino – surely my goddaughter will be the coolest baby around with her very own miniature Clapotis? Yes, I’ve succumbed, but only on a small scale. It’ll also look a bit, well – “creative” is the word I’d like to use, “odd” may be the more truthful one – as it’ll use all 3 colours from the cardigan. It’s just that the wool is so lovely to use, that I didn’t want to stop just because I’ve finished the cardigan (and seamed it properly, using mattress stitch and everything.)

Anyway, back to the parcel – the doorbell rang, and the postman had a parcel addressed to John and me – so I opened it – Wow! It was a selection of about 5 or 6 jumpers for Ruth, rejected by a friend who has twins imminent – they are bright!! Again, I can’t do pics, but when I get the camera back… I find it hard to know how to react to this sort of item – I am a knitter, I love knitting, I do it selfishly in that I knit what I want to knit, and hope that the recipient will actually like it. But when I look at these I’m horrified. I can see the work that has gone into them, I can see that the makers are accomplished knitters and that they have executed fairly complicated patterns with some skill, but, but, but – in the main they’re just horrid! Maybe they won’t look so bad in isolation – after all, she can’t wear them all at once.

Before you ask....

no I don’t have that much to do (marking, washing up, knitting, tidying, sorting laundry, getting well… )

so I found this


Now to go and knit :-)

Oooh – and yesterday’s main nice thing – my other Karen Armstrong book (The Spiral Staircase) arrived – I’ve lent Islam: a short history to my mother – it’s excellent, and important, but I just don’t have the attention span at the moment – I need someone else to read it and tell me what it says.

Where I've been

This is fun, but I wish I’d been further afield – you’d think that by the grand old age of 38 I’d have managed to get to another continent, wouldn’t you!

create your own visited countries map

(Shame it doesn’t really fit – not quite sure what I can do about that… )

Still, aeroplanes are a major polluter, so maybe I can claim it as a virtue?

Brain Pattern

Thanks to Kathryn for this one:

Your Brain’s Pattern

You have a tempered, reasonable way of thinking.

You tend to take every new idea in, and meld it with your world view.

For you, everything is always changing. Each moment is different.

Your thinking process tends to be very natural – with no beginnings or endings.

What Pattern Is Your Brain?

Not so sure myself, but there you go!


Whinge alert!

I wish today had been a work day, then I could have taken the day off. However, it wasn’t so I couldn’t, and instead I had to look after A&R. My sinuses have been playing up all day – the morning was OK – went shopping, took Ruth to the playground for an hour while I sat and read the paper (lovely warm day – we aren’t going to have too many more of those this year). But this afternoon… Adam just wouldn’t leave me alone. He wasn’t being particularly naughty, although he does a nasty little line in completely ignoring what I say just now, but he wanted my input the whole time, and I just couldn’t give it, so I ended up screaming at him most unfairly, and then apologising, and then screaming again when he did it again.

Fortunately John came home early from work – he’s been feeling pretty rough too, although he’s much better now, and I just retreated to bed and left them all to it.

Still, last night I finished the flower for the front of senryu (a knitted pansy which I’ve nicked from Ample Knitters) and I’ve picked up the stitches for the pink garter stitch at the bottom, so life isn’t all bad.

Self Portrait Tuesday

My offering for this week, in the self documentary series –
Washing up one-handed:

Getting on with the simplest household chore can become almost impossible with a little girl who insists on being “up, up” all the time.

I’m loving the grittiness of this series – normally if I take a photo inside the house I go to a fair bit of effort to “cheat” – I don’t actually clean and tidy, but I make sure that the background looks as though I have done. For these pics I’ve not done that – and I love the colour and mess they show.

The things you can find on the web...

So I’m replying to a post on a friend’s blog, and I want to quote the thing about evil succeeding when good people do nothing – I’m useless are remembering quotations (although I do always remember that my English teacher insisted that the noun is “quotation”; “quote” is a verb), so I decide to google it – and find this fascinating set misquotations! Nice to know I’m not the only one with a lousy memory :-)

Wierd and kind of cool

Thank you to John for this one: OrganicHTML – there’s no explanation, so I don’t know how they do it, but it seems the more complex the site, the prettier the “plant”. This blog gives:

The prettiest I’ve managed to get are for eBay and Amazon – go on, have fun :-)

Comp Entry

I’ve decided to enter Hazel’s competition at knitspeak – here’s my entry for KIP:

I’ve been wanting to take this picture ever since I heard about Hazel’s great idea. Yes it’s corny, but since I do KIP (church, toddler group, weekly “at home”;), and have been known to kip while knitting (although not usually while KIPping), I couldn’t resist. I did briefly persuade one of the teenagers from church to take up knitting – I think she got about 2 rows done before life and other projects took over (correct me if I’m wrong Ruth). Still, although I only took my knitting with me today so dh could take the pic, it aroused favourable comment from the older generation (and surprise that someone as “young” (cough) as me can knit…;) – and the offer of my pick from a set of disused needles.


Finally!! Adam’s scarf is done :-) :-) :-) It’s only about 9 months since I started it. I now heartily loathe the thing – it’s nasty, nasty acrylic, (and somehow I seem to have changed gauge halfway through – not sure how that happened…;) but he thinks it’s wonderful, and will be thrilled to wear it to church tomorrow, and the nasty nasty acrylic is machine washable, so it’s not all bad.

Knitting related (at last!)

OK – so thank you to everyone still reading after yesterday’s off-putting entry!

Some knitting stuff at last:
This is how far I’ve managed to get so far with my goddaughter’s cardigan – since it is an adaptation of haiku I’ve decided to call it senryu – I especially like that this form of Japanese Poetry tends to be about human foibles – describes much of my knitting perfectly :-)

The Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino is a dream to knit with, and I seem to be avoiding Second Sleeve Syndrome with this item. I still need to pick up and knit the pink garter stitch round the bottom, and am trying to decide what sort of flower I want to make for the front. I’m hoping the whole thing will look a lot better when I’ve finished and blocked it.

And I’m making progress with Adam’s scarf :-)

(For the over-observant, yes this is exactly the same photo as last time, but there really isn’t much difference – I’ve done one more band, and calculated that there are only 2 more to go – and a few rows of garter stitch at the end – in fact I’m down to 40 rows (and counting) – I’m so not enjoying it, but Adam is really excited about it, and if I get it done it’ll give me some more breathing space with his jumper.)

I’ve paused for a while with the VEY, although that is still lovely.

And when I’ve finished the scarf I have to get back to Adam’s Norwegian jumper – Second Sleeve Syndrome has set in badly there – I’m feeling all Fair Isled out, esp since I know that my method is not the “correct” or efficient one.

Anyway, I’m feeling really grim with the end of a rotten cold (prob not really flu, but I do ache) – everything hurts, esp when I move my eyes, so I’m back to bed.

Maths teacher jokes

OK, so the title says it all – the really sad thing is that these all made my colleagues (and me) chuckle. So here goes:
1) What do you call a hungry parrot? (Any ideas?)

2) a) What do you get if you cross a cat with a dog? b) What do you get if you cross a mountaineer with a mosquito? (see below)

3) So x-squared and e-to-the-x go to a disco, and they’re both having a bop. X-squared is having a wonderful time, dancing away, really getting into his groove, but e-to-the-x is looking pretty miserable. X-squared notices this and goes over – “Come on, we’re here to have fun – cheer up!” “Oh, everything seems the same, I really can’t be bothered.” Concerned about his friend, x-squared tries to encourage him some more “You just need to integrate.” “But would that change anything?”

4) Two professors in a restaurant, one is complaining about the dumbing down of maths – “No-one can do maths these days apart from specialists.” “I don’t believe you, the general population is more mathematically literate than ever before,” replies his friend. They argue for a while, and then the grumpy one heads off to the toilet. Immediately he’s out of sight the second professor calls the waitress over and tells her to reply “1/3 x-cubed” when she is asked what the integral of x-squared is. The friend comes back and the waitress is called over, apparently out of the blue Prof Grump is prompted to ask her for the integral of x-squared. “1/3 x-cubed” she dutifully replies. And then, as she’s leaving the table adds “and a constant”.

Ooh – and the answers to No 2 – a) cat dog sin theta, and b) you can’t cross a scalar and a vector.


Went on a Stash Enhancement eXpedition this morning with my mother – I was very restrained though – one more ball of the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino for the cardigan I’m knitting for my god-daughter, and a couple of balls of purple Jaeger Matchmaker merino 4 ply (shade 701) to make myself some socks (yes, I’m going to try socks!) WHEN I’VE FINISHED MY OTHER PROJECTS!!!

And then we went out for lunch to my favourite place in Cambridge – the Rainbow Cafe – tomato soup followed by dandelion and burdock roulade – sounds weird, but tasted wonderful.

Not much time for blogging at the mo though with my parents here – it’s wonderful though – they entertain Adam, and on Monday, after a staff meeting, I got home to find dinner had been made :-)

Some time to post!

It’s Sunday morning, I’ve sent John and the children off to church (feeling grotty again :-( – still, it gets me some “time off”;)), so I can do a longer post.

Knitting: – spent an extremely frustrating couple of hours yesterday untangling the mother of all tangles from my “very exciting yarn” (still can’t say what it is – it’s for a Christmas present, and the recipient might be reading!). It’s gorgeous stuff, and the knitting itself is going fine – although there are only just enough stitches to go round the circular needle at the narrowest point – it’s been OK, but I’m very glad to be increasing again. Confession – having got an FO (the soaker pants) I immediately started 2 new projects – the Very Exciting Yarn (hereafter to be known as VEY) and my Haiku-adaptation for my god-daughter. So I’m being very bad – although I have at least cast on and done the cuff for the second sleeve of Adam’s jumper.

Cooking: – a real cop-out on Friday – Adam and I made blueberry muffins – from a gluten-free packet mix! I don’t know why I bothered (well, I do – the box was half-price in Waitrose) – they were nice, but not as nice as the orange choc-chip cakes we made the other week, and not really any less effort. But to redeem myself, I did find a tasty use for marrow – Sophie Grigson’s Buttered Marrow with Aromatics – (approx 2lb marrow for 4 people) – peel marrow and discard seeds, chop into 1 inch chunks. Butter oven-proof dish (big enough to take marrow in a single tightly packed layer – I used a lasagne dish) – put marrow in, scatter with oregano, crushed coriander seeds and black pepper. Dot with butter (should use about 2 oz in total – I used much less, it didn’t seem to be a problem) – cover with foil, stick in oven at 170C (325F?) for about 35 min, then remove foil and cook for a further 15 min. It’s amazingly forgiving – I did ours for a total of over an hour at about 190, and it didn’t seem to complain.

Just before it went in the oven – what? You mean you don’t have a giraffe on your kitchen table?

Gardening: – oh yeah, I guess there’s a garden out there somewhere – the lawn desperately needs mowing, but either it’s wet, or we’re too busy doing other things.

Mothering:- tired, tired boy yesterday – combined with a not-feeling-very-well mother, it was not a fun day :-( Still, there were some wonderful highlights – like when Ruth was helping Daddy unload the dishwasher (a bit hairy that one – we have to make sure we get to the sharp knives first!) and Adam emptied the washing machine.

Chocolate:- we raided the children’s chocolate buttons last night – and had 3 each!!

Other thoughts:- (Women only) So I’m blobbing around, on the blob (see Daisy for a translation) and it occured to me to post about my mooncup – I’d seen them advertised in various places, but always shuddered slightly and gave them a miss, but then a friend started waxing lyrical about hers, so I thought I’d give it a go – and I’m a convert. It’s not perfect, but the problems I’ve had with it have been nothing to do with mess. (In fact I find it less messy than using tampons.) It’s usually fine, but just sometimes I don’t get it in quite the right place, so it’s not so comfortable, but that’s easily fixed. I won’t go on at great length – there’s plenty of comments on the site if anyone wants to read them. Ooh – and I also use washable san-pro – see Peeweez – I think she makes them from old pjs – they’re certainly very pretty, and perfectly comfortable.

OK – that’s quite enough of that! Men – you can open your eyes again now!

Maths teaching:- It’s one of the things I always find somewhat frustrating – if I set a class a learning styles questionnaire (this links to one of many such questionnaires), the majority of them come out as preferring to learn by doing, and taking in more information from a visual presentation than from words. But if I ask them to sketch graphs you get so many moans: “Miss I hate graphs.” “Miss I can’t do graphs.” “Miss why do we have to do this?” – These are 16 year-olds who have chosen to do maths! I love teaching graphically – there’s so much that jumps off the page at you when you look at the graph of a function that you just can’t see from the equation. Still – I did get a round of applause on Thursday when I derived the quadratic formula by completing the square.

Well this post is now more than long enough – congrats to anyone who’s made it this far – I’m going to have a bath. And then I need to do some cleaning – my parents are arriving this afternoon…

Flower Mandalas

Just found these – aren’t they gorgeous?!

Twitter feed

    follow me on Twitter